IPL: MS Dhoni steps down as Chennai Super Kings’ captain, Ruturaj Gaikwad appointed new skipper

The Indian Premier League-based franchise Chennai Super Kings (CSK) shocked fans on Thursday as they named Ruturaj Gaikwad as the new captain of the team ahead of the Indian Premier League 2024. Gaikwad will replace former Indian cricket team skipper MS Dhoni, who won five titles with CSK to equal Rohit Sharma’s record.

Former CSK skipper MS Dhoni (left) with new CSK captain Ruturaj Gaikwad. Photo courtesy: Free Press Journal
MS Dhoni (left) with new CSK captain rotary Gaikwad. Photo courtesy: Free Press Journal

Gaikwad will be the third captain of CSK, after Dhoni and Ravindra Jadeja, who led the team for a brief period in 2022.

But CSK suffered defeats at the start of IPL 2022 which is why Dhoni took the captaincy back from Jadeja mid-season.

Dhoni’s legacy in IPL

Dhoni is the most successful IPL captain in terms of the number of wins. He’s led CSK and the now-defunct Rising Pune Supergiant in a total of 226 games out of which he’s won 133 and lost 91 matches.

The 42-year-old’s win percentage is also the best among all captains who have led in more than 100 games in the IPL.

Dhoni could be playing his final season in the IPL which is why the franchise probably felt the need for a smooth transition in his presence as a player in CSK.

But he is expected to remain attached with the franchise in some other capacity. CSK might look to include Dhoni in their coaching staff or call him back as a mentor next year, like a lot of the other franchises have done with their former marquee players in the past.

“MS Dhoni has handed over Chennai Super Kings’ captaincy to Ruturaj Gaikwad ahead of the start of TATA IPL 2024.

“Ruturaj has been an integral part of Chennai Super Kings since 2019 and has played 52 matches in IPL during this period. The team looks forward to the upcoming season,” CSK announced in a statement.

The rising star

Gaikwad has amassed 1797 runs in the IPL since making his debut in 2020. He’s scored a hundred and 14 fifties so far.

The flamboyant opener was in red-hot form last season, scoring 590 runs in 16 games at an impressive strike rate of 147.50.

Gaikwad’s CSK will start their IPL 2024 campaign against Royal Challengers Bengaluru at MA Chidambaram Stadium on Friday (March 22).

(The article is published under a mutual content partnership arrangement between The Free Press Journal and Connected to India)